Sicilian Pepato

There is so much to write (and taste) about cheese. And although I really LOVE cheese, I am not an expert on cheese. Yet. At the moment I am just happy trying out cheese and deciding which wine goes with which cheese – to eventually find my all time favorite combinations.I live in Belgium. North of France, south of the Netherlands. Countries where cheese, of one type or another, have supremacy. A task ahead would be to try out a different cheese every day and I am pretty sure I’ll have enough cheese to go on for a whole year.

However I am not sure I will take this approach yet. As a first step I decided that every time I buy cheese, I should buy one I don’t know about. There is always the theory. The cheese platter, the cheese – wine combination, the cheese tasting. However I much prefer the practice. I like discovering cheese on its own, and then decide on it without external influences.

One of the best advice I received on cheese and wine, was ‘what you like best is the right combination’. With modern times, came a modern approach to cheese and wine as well. Combinations are endless, as Camembert is nicely paired with a Beaujolais, while Parmesan and Champagne bring a surprisingly delicious mix.

Sicilian Pepato (pepper Pecorino) is not a newly discovered cheese. But one of my favorite Italian cheese. Made out of sheep milk, Pecorino is one of the oldest cheese produced in Sicily, and to the pride of Sicilians, mentioned even by Homer in his Odyssey. Italians suggest you should serve this cheese with a dab of honey or very ripe pears. Next time I will try just that. We had it simply with a nutty ciabatta, radishes and a Quinta Sa de Baixo Douro 2003 red Portuguese wine. And it made for a very nice Sunday snack.

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